Down to the Wire: UPI's Fight for Survival

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9780070238046: Down to the Wire: UPI's Fight for Survival

Down to the Wire: UPI's Fight for Survival

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From Publishers Weekly:

United Press International, usually considered America's second-tier wire service, was established in 1907 and had its greatest success in the '40s and '50s. But in the 1970s, this momentum was lost--and here former UPI staffers Gordon and Cohen open their thoughtful, instructive analysis of the company's decline. Sold by the founding Scripps family in 1982, UPI fell into the hands of Doug Ruhe and Bill Geisler, young entrepreneurs short on journalistic experience. These two, in the authors' view, hurt UPI by hiring expensive consultants and skimming off the scant profits. Forced out by dynamic president Luis Nogales, they sold to Mexican tycoon Mario Vazquez-Rana, who in turn tried to impose his autocratic style on employees. But Vazquez-Rana, too, ran into trouble, and the company was again sold; by the late 1980s UPI appears shakily viable. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Everything you ever wanted to know, or didn't, about UPI's woes is here: the legendary stinginess of the founding Scripps' company; the incomprehensible takeover by two unknown Nashville entrepreneurs, who literally paid nothing for the company; the persistent struggles to make the payroll; the slashing of the work force--from 1,737 to 650 between 1982 and 1989; and the ever-desperate attempts to find a company savior. In recounting each blow so meticulously, the authors, both former "Unipressers," have written a book more for insiders than for the general reader. Moreover, with so much space devoted to the incessant back-stabbing, the authors fail to emphasize the genuine tragedy of UPI's decline: that its loss would serve to quiet yet another independent voice in the news industry. For media collections.
- Michelle Lodge, New York
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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